“The retreat of American empire…

“The retreat of American empire is underway”, Pat Buchanan

(I linked to this yesterday, and for the first time ever, am linking to the same article two days in a row. I’m re-printing most of it. Read the whole thing. It’s quite amazing. And on-target.)

The neoconservative hour is over. All the blather about “empire,” our “unipolar moment,” “Pax Americana” and “benevolent global hegemony” will be quietly put on a shelf and forgotten as infantile prattle.

America is not going to fight a five- or 10-year war in Iraq. Nor will we be launching any new invasions soon. The retreat of American empire, begun at Fallujah, is underway.

With a $500 billion deficit, we do not have the money for new wars. With an Army of 480,000 stretched thin, we do not have the troops. With April-May costing us a battalion of dead and wounded, we are not going to pay the price. With the squalid photos from Abu Ghraib, we no longer have the moral authority to impose our “values” on Iraq.

Bush’s “world democratic revolution” is history.

Given the hatred of the United States and Bush in the Arab world, as attested to by Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, it is almost delusional to think Arab peoples are going to follow America’s lead.

It is a time for truth. In any guerrilla war we fight, there is going to be a steady stream of U.S. dead and wounded. There is going to be collateral damage – i.e., women and children slain and maimed. There will be prisoners abused. And inevitably, there will be outrages by U.S. troops enraged at the killing of comrades and the jeering of hostile populations. If you would have an empire, this goes with the territory. And if you are unprepared to pay the price, give it up.

The administration’s shock and paralysis at publication of the S&M photos from Abu Ghraib tell us we are not up to it.

For what is taking place in Iraq is child’s play compared to what we did in the Philippines a century ago. Only there, they did not have digital cameras, videocams and the Internet.

Iraq was an unnecessary war that may become one of the great blunders in U.S. history.

Why are we so hated in the Middle East? Three fundamental reasons:

1. Our invasion of Iraq is seen as a premeditated and unjust war to crush a weak Arab nation that had not threatened or attacked us, to seize its oil.

2. We are seen as an arrogant imperial superpower that dictates to Arab peoples and sustains regimes that oppress them.

3. We are seen as the financier and armorer of an Israel that oppresses and robs Palestinians of their land and denies them rights we hypocritically preach to the world.

<Bush> should declare that the United States has no intention of establishing permanent bases in Iraq, and that we intend to withdraw all U.S. troops after elections, if the Iraqis tell us to leave. Then we should schedule elections at the earliest possible date this year.

The president should also offer to withdraw U.S. forces from any Arab country that wishes us to leave.

A presidential election is where the great foreign-policy debate should take place over whether to maintain U.S. troops all over the world, or bring them home and let other nations determine their own destiny. Unfortunately, we have two candidates and two parties that agree on our present foreign policy that is conspicuously failing.”

PS Rumsfeld says, failure is now possible

“For the first time in public, a somber Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld raised the possibility yesterday that the U.S. mission in Iraq could fail”